Organization 101

August 30th, 2012 | Comments »

This week will be the first of a series of organizational blogs that can help us re-invent our space. With the start of the new school year only days away many look at this as a way to start fresh. It’s not only January 1st that brings change and new commitments, Labour Day weekend can be a new start for many.

We’ll focus throughout the series on the kitchen, bathroom, home office and laundry room. However this week it’s great tips for around the house.  Hope you find a few to be useful and that you have a great long weekend! Life is somewhat back to normal next week! (wink wink)

Let’s take a look at a few inventive ways to bring some order to the various spaces in our home…

  1. Focused on your front foyer, try a long console. Space on top to display any key pieces you’d like to feature and drawers for storage, this is a great functional piece. For additional storage you can also consider a couple ottomans underneath… here you can store mittens, toques, scarves and what not. (Out of sight in the spring & summer)
  2. Have you considered a craft room/space, perhaps you already have one?  When you’re looking at putting together the space this is one where you can let your imagination go. Try bold, bright & fun colours… Create an inspiration board by using a bulletin board with a vintage or modern frame depending on your space. This is great for inspiration and keeps things off counter tops.  Use plastic bins for toys and jars to store craft supplies… old tin cans covered in material are great to hold markers, pens, scissors and other craft tools.
  3. When it comes to the linen closet I think we’ve all been victim to the piles of sheets and towels that fall over and are pushed into spaces to make it all stay (and fit). Adjustable shelves is step number one… ideally 10-12 inches apart. (Essential for air flow and access) On the top shelf try medium baskets to keep face cloths and hand towels in… hopefully this will help with the stacked pile that always comes crashing down.
  4. Tackling the children’s rooms? Always a challenge I know… Customization is key; a window seat with storage, a desk with built in shelving and a handy work space & a bench in the closet to add more drawer space.  Another great organizational tool is magazine racks for all their books (usually better for when their younger).
  5. Probably the most talked about space that we all try and tackle is the the bedroom closet/wardrobe space.  Many of us have a walk in closet… some small some larger but customization is usually key. Many of us look at using built ins, however instead of having them in the entire closet try a free standing set of dresser drawers. Clear pull out trays are great for belts, accessories or even socks. Inexpensive cardboard style boxes fit nicely into cubby holds and a great for smaller pieces you may have.  If you’re a shoe-a-holic and have a few extra pairs kicking around try placing shoes that are more frequently worn on shelves and those used for special occasions or specific season in plastic boxes. If this all seems a little overwhelming there are plenty of ready made units that can be a one stop fix of you.

Some of you may have already tackled some of these tricks, however for those who haven’t good luck and have fun!

Who’s ready for a little more sunshine?

August 24th, 2012 | Comments »

Decorating With Yellow

“Use this happy hue to bring a sunny disposition to your space.”

Yellow is known to be such a positive colour… an inspiration we’ve seen in such iconic pieces as the YELLOW SUBMARINE, YELLOWPOKA DOT BIKIN, YELLOW BRICK ROAD and more recently the ever so popular LIVESTRONG YELLOW!

Lance Armstrong has been quoted  many times saying “Yellow wakes me up in the morning. Yellow gets me on my bike everyday. Yellow has taught me the true meaning of sacrifice. Yellow makes me suffer. Yellow is the reason I am here.”

Depending on the amount of red or blue it contains, yellow can have different personalities. Yellows with a red undertone are warm and welcoming, so they’re great on large pieces of furniture and walls― Yellows with a hint of blue can come off as cold, so they’re best used sparingly, on accessories or small furnishings. But pale, buttery yellows “function as neutrals,”  and can work just about anywhere.

Yellow is a classic wall colour that really never goes out of style. I would suggest one of the following paint colours: PARA’s White Corn/ Corn Silk or Benjamin Moore’s Moonlight/ Lighthouse. Keep in mind that the paint colour will look different from room to room. It’s suggested that you test out a few colours you like on 1’ by 1’ piece of foam core or scrap wood first and look at them at different times of day in all the rooms you plan to paint. This process will also give you a good idea of how the yellow of your choice appears next to your existing upholstery, drapery and flooring. It’s important that you see the yellow at different times of the day with both natural light and the various lighting you have in your space.

The sunny shades of yellow can be brought into a space in various forms; paint, accessories, fabrics or furniture pieces. Often the shades of yellow we choose are so strong that we don’t need more than a punch here or there.  Remember it’s all about balance…

Here are a few examples of the use of a sunny yellow used in various forms:

Sarah’s House Season 1 ~ Office
Space by Jonathan Adler ~ with a pop of yellow in the furniture!
~bringing a splash of yellow in through fabrics~
~using paint to create stripes can create a very interesting visual effect~

Remember to have fun with it and try something different!

Feeling a litte bit of September?

August 17th, 2012 | Comments »

September Birth Flower
The September Birth Flower is the Aster, as shown in the opposite picture

Meaning of the September Birth Flower:
The meaning of the September Birth Flower, the Aster is Love, Faith, Wisdom and symbolizes Valor

Sign of the Zodiac and Dates:
Virgo – 
August 24 – September 22

September Birthstone: The Sapphire

Characteristics of Virgo :
Orderly, Modest, Diligent, Analytical & Self-sufficient

The September birthstone, Sapphire is chemically and structurally the same as Ruby – both are varieties of the mineral corundum Sapphires are well known among the general public as being blue, but can be nearly any colour except shades of red or pink (since those are called rubies). Sapphire is also the Zodiac stone for the constellation of Taurus the Bull. It is associated with the values of truth, sincerity, commitment, and loyalty.

The blue colour is by far the most popular color for sapphire but orange-pink, golden, white, and even black have generated much interest in the gem trade. Tennis bracelets are available that contain a complete rainbow of sapphire gemstones.

Oriented rutile crystal inclusions cause a six-pointed-star light effect (called asterism) to form the popular Star Sapphire.

Sapphires are well known from such places as Sri Lanka and India, and excellent specimens are also found in Tanzania and the Kola Pennensula of Russia. In addition, sapphires are found in many places throughout the world, including North Carolina, Brazil, and China.

Sapphires are extremely durable (only diamond and moisannite are harder).  Artificial sapphire crystals are used are used as the crystal face in genuine Rolex watches, and they are extremely scratch resistant.

There are specific flowers which are traditionally given according to the month that a person is born. The September Birth Flower is the Aster. The History and traditions surrounding the September Birth Flower, the Aster is fascinating. There are many myths and legends about the origins of this tradition. It is believed that birthday celebrations originated in the Roman Empire and the origins of birth month flowers, such as the Aster,  could be said to date back to these times. During Roman birthday celebrations family and friends offered congratulations and brought gifts. The gifts included gemstone jewelry, such as the Sapphire, and also flowers – the first traditions and origins of the September Birth Flower.

Have a great September everyone!